ASRock Z490 Extreme 4 Motherboard Overview
Taking a first look at the Z490 Extreme4 we have an ATX motherboard, but it is a little different than most ATX motherboards. The actual PCB has been cut differently, so the corners are cut at an angle and we have an indent where the SATA ports are. This really does not affect anything, but gives the board its own unique look. For the Extreme series ASRock is going with a black PCB with blue and silver accents. Overall the board looks pretty good.
Starting at the CPU socket we have Intel’s new LGA1200 socket, this socket supports 10th generation Intel Core “Comet Lake-S” desktop processors and should support the upcoming “Rocket Lake-S” processors. Surrounding the CPU socket we have the power delivery components. ASRock is using an 11 phase Dr.MOS power design with premium 60A chokes, and we cam see the Nichicon 12K black capacitors around the board. Covering the power delivery components we have two large heatsinks.
Towards the top corner of the board you’ll find your 8-pin EPS power connector as well as a 4-pin optional connector.
Moving over to the other side of the board you’ll find your four DDR4 DIMM slots. These slots do not have the locked on the bottom, which will make it easy for you to swap out memory if you have a graphics card installed. These slots will support up to 128 GB of 4266 MHz DDR4 memory.
Right before the DIMM slots at the top of the board you’ll find your CPU fan header, then right after them is a 4-pin optional CPU fan header, 3-pin addressable RGB header, and 4-pin standard RGB header. Moving down the board you’ll find your 24-pin ATX power connection, a USB 3.2 gen 2 connection, and a USB 3.2 gen 1 header. You can also see the word “EXTREME” on the board, which will light up with RGB lighting when you have your system powered on.
As we come down the board we have that indent that we talked about and there you have four SATA 6GB/s ports and a 4-pin fan header.
At the bottom of the board you’ll find the rest of your headers and connections. So from left to right you have your HD audio header, TPM header, 3-pin addressable RGB header, 4-pin standard RGB header, USB 3.1 gen 1 header, two USB 2.0 headers, two 4-pin fan headers, front panel headers, two SATA 6GB/s ports, and another 4-pin fan header.
The bottom half of the board is mainly characterized by a large heatsink which encompasses the PCH heatsink and bottom M.2 heatsink. There are actually three M.2 slots on the drive, but only two will work with 10th generation Intel processors. The bottom slot supports 110mm drives, while the top slot supports 80 mm drives. These slots support both PCI-Express 3.0 x4 drives as well as SATA M.2 drives. Right below the top M.2 slot is the third M.2 slot which is a PCI-Express 4.0 slot made for next-generation Intel Core processors.
When it comes to expansion slots you have two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots and three PCI-Express 3.0 x1 slots. The two x16 slots are metal reinforced and support AMD CrossFire. Between the two M.2 slots you’ll find a smaller M.2 slot for adding WiFi to the board.
The rear I/O of the board is nicely covered with a large plastic piece with the ASRock logo on it. Like all new motherboards the rear I/O has an integrated I/O shield as well. When it comes to rear I/O ports you have two USB 2.0 ports, a combination PS/2 port, HDMI, DisplayPort, two USB 3.2 gen 2 (1x Type-A, 1x Type-C) two USB 3.2 gen 1, Ethernet, and your audio connections. The Ethernet is 2.5G and powered by the Realtek Dragon RTL8125BG chip.
For those wondering about RGB lighting you have RGB lighting on the front edge of the board that illuminates the “EXTREME” writing, on the PCH heatsink illuminating the “Extreme4” writing, and finally on the rear I/O cover illuminating the ASRock logo. The lighting looks amazing and besides the Taichi, it is the best Z490 lighting we’ve seen from ASRock.